Chapter 1. I was abandoned by my family
Irene thought for a long time. When she decided to drop out of the academy of her own free will, she needed to think about what she could do and should do. She’d never thought about it before, so she wanted to ask for help or advice, but no one would answer her.
She realized it only then. Her life, and her goals, she needed to set them for herself. She needed to decide her own path, not anyone else.
“Leticia already knew this.”
Irene was crouching down on her bed and hugged her knees harder. She was desperate to visit Leticia right away. However, she tried hard to hold back and sighed.
Now she’s decided, it’s late, but it’s not too late. What could be corrected, had to be corrected.
“There’s no way you don’t know that asking for favors is prohibited.”
Irene visited Warner shortly before the announcement of the successful candidates for the Imperial Civil service. As soon as Warner saw Irene, he frowned as if he didn’t know who she was.
“I’m not here to ask for a favor, but to snitch.”
“About my brother and sister.”
A few days ago, she heard Emil and Xavier secretly talking at the Leroy mansion. She couldn’t hear it properly, because they were speaking quietly, but it was clear that he was trying to spread bad rumors about Leticia.
[If you’re able to cut ties with someone who was once your family, would they really be able to understand the feelings of the people?]
Even as she said this, Irene wondered if the rumors that had been spreading about Leticia might have been Emil’s doing.
At Irene’s words, Warner stood still with a blank look on his face and then gestured for her to go home after saying he understood.
Irene was returning to the Leroy’s mansion. She felt somehow uncomfortable, but had no regrets about what she’d done. She’d already walked an irreversible long path, but she had to make it right even if it was too late.
“Why did you do that?”
Emil, who’d been immersed in thought for a while, grabbed Irene’s shoulder violently.
“Are you doing this because I haven’t been paying attention to you lately?”
“How are you going to face Father after what you’ve done to me?”
“Answer me, Irene Leroy.”
Marquis Leroy was not going to let this go unanswered, since Irene was the main reason why Emil had been rejected. He didn’t understand how on earth she did this without knowing how to handle the aftermath.
However, Irene’s words were very shocking.
“I’m going to leave on my own before I’m kicked out.”
“I’m going to stay at Uncle’s mansion.”
As soon as she’d decided to drop out of the academy, the first thing she did was contact her uncle, the brother of Marquess Leroy. Unlike Marquis Leroy, who was strict and only cared about his reputation as a noble, her uncle was free-spirit without being bound by noble society. In addition, he was a person who cared for Irene and felt sorry for her.
She had already exchanged letters and received permission, so she just had to go to her uncle’s estate. Emil, who was unaware of the situation, smirked at her in amazement.
“What about the academy? It’ll be a long distance to commute to school.”
“That’s none of your business.”
“Did you really drop out?”
He’d heard that Irene was dropping out, but Emil thought it was a false rumor. Irene, who he knew, was a young sibling who believed and followed Marquis Leroy’s words like they were a divine revelation.
Irene didn’t answer him, she just stood there staring at him.
Emil had his answer from her gaze, he raised his voice.
“Are you crazy? Are you out of your mind?”
“He’s going to excommunicate me, isn’t he?”
“If I’m going to be excommunicated, then so be it.”
She said this calmly, with a smile that was livelier than he’d ever seen.
“I don’t want to live the way my father wants anymore. If I’m not living the way my father wants, I don’t want to be relentlessly abandoned.”
In reality, she still hadn’t found her path in life. At the very least she didn’t intend to live like her family, who criticized and blamed each other.
“I am the worst for avoiding our sister because I thought she was bad luck, but brother is not without fault either. The father who kicked her out and the brother, who created false rumors about her, are both equally as awful.”
“So brother, you’d better get your act together.”
Even if he can’t pull himself together, there was nothing she could do.
Irene shook her head as if she had no answer for Emil, who was staring at her blankly as she left the room.
“I’m so proud of you, I can’t believe my brother became an Imperial Civil servant!”
As soon as he arrived at the Achilles mansion, Elle hugged Ian, and didn’t let go. Ian frowned as if the clingy Elle was a burden, but he didn’t push her away and just grumbled.
“It’s disgusting, so get away from me.”
“It’s because I’m proud of you.”
As long as Ian tried to avoid it, Elle stuck closer and bothered him.
During this time Leticia was smiling gently because it was good to see them complaining, but with eyes full of affection for each other. Ian barely managed to remove Elle, and slowly approached Leticia. She wondered if there was something he wanted to say, but he just stood in front of her and looked at her. Leticia tilted her head and asked.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
Did he forget that she’d complimented him on all the hard work he’d done?
Leticia laughed at his cuteness and gently stroked Ian’s hair. She didn’t know how many times he’d heard that compliment just today. However, Ian had a slight smile on his face from receiving Leticia’s touch.
The next target was Enoch, who was standing next to Leticia. Enoch had already noticed Ian’s intention, he ruffled Ian’s hair roughly and congratulated him.
“It must have been difficult, but you worked hard Ian.”
“Thank you, brother.”
Ian’s head dipped down slightly, as if he was embarrassed by the praise he’d received from Enoch. It was so cute that Leticia secretly laughed. Seeing Ian want to be loved like that, even though he was so mature, it made him seem so young.
At that time, Elle was looking at the three of them standing side-by-side when she quickly interrupted and said.
“I’ll compliment you too!”
“You’ve done enough.”
“This is for you!”
Once again, Leticia wondered if she should stop them from fighting with each other.
“My lady, there’s a letter for you.”
Leticia looked at Mary, who was holding the letter with an unusual expression. As soon as she saw who sent it, her expression stiffened. However, she immediately put on a calm face and asked Mary.
“If you don’t mind, can you put it on my desk?”
“Yes, my lady.”
Mary returned to Leticia’s room with the correspondence. Watching that, she felt a small weight on her shoulder. When she turned her head slightly, Enoch had placed his chin on her shoulder and asked curiously.
“Who is it from?”
“It’s a secret.”
“Are you keeping a secret from me?”
Leticia sighed at his disappointed tone. She reached out and touched Enoch’s cheek.
“I’ll tell you later.”
He smiled as he leaned into her touch, as if he couldn’t get enough of it.
Elle and Ian, who were looking at the two, slipped away when the two began to be affectionate. When Leticia belatedly noticed, she pushed Enoch away, but the twins had already disappeared.
“Really, whenever you have the chance.”
The biggest problem was that she was falling for Enoch, who liked to casually touch her.
“I like it. What should I do?”
Unlike Leticia, who was embarrassed about showing her feelings honestly, Enoch didn’t hide it like he used to. It was only recently that he realized that every time he did it, he would be able to enjoy her blushing face.
“You keep teasing me.”
Leticia lightly pressed her lips to Enoch’s hateful, yet beautiful smile, and slowly took his large hand in hers.
“It’s been a while since I went outside for a walk.”
Leticia turned around with a coy look, without letting go of Enoch’s hand. She didn’t even know that Enoch was looking at Leticia in an adorable way.
Leticia didn’t notice it because she always came to see it only during the day, but the feeling of the garden at night was also different. The atmosphere was quiet and peaceful, and it felt like walking on an empty lake.
Looking around at the roses in full bloom, Leticia sat on the bench beside Enoch and muttered.
“Come to think of it, the party’s tomorrow.”
Leticia looked up at the night sky with her hands behind her back. She was nervous and excited about tomorrow. It was clear that after the party, the position of the Achilles family would change and their status would rise.
‘I should be able to stand next to you confidently, too.’
She wanted to be a person who suited Enoch. In addition, she wanted to stand in a position where she could be proud of herself.
At that time, she felt Enoch’s gaze. As soon as their eyes met, Enoch spoke slowly.
“Is this too fast?”
Leticia looked curiously at the ring box in Enoch’s hand. The box contained a ring with blue jewels in them.
“You said marriage was too early, so I wanted to get engaged first.”
Enoch’s ring was obviously an engagement ring. The blue sapphires embedded in the ring were the same color as Leticia’s eyes. It looked like he intentionally prepared it with blue sapphires.
Black hair slightly blowing in the wind, and serenely sparkling eyes underneath it. She couldn’t take her eyes off of him.
His expression was calm, but his ears were red, and Leticia tried to not laugh.
Enoch decided that Leticia’s silence was consent, so he picked up the ring and tried to place it on her finger.
“No, I mean… I mean…”
Enoch’s expression instantly froze, as if he had heard it as a rejection, but Leticia wasn’t trying to refuse him
“If we’re going to get engaged, can’t you do it in front of people?”
At the moment that she said it, Leticia realized that her repressed desire to own and monopolize him had been revealed.
She wanted to show to everyone that they thought of each other as lovers. She knew it was her own greed, but it grew so big that she couldn’t hide it anymore.
[I’m sure there are aristocrats who are aiming for him.]
[Brother is older, I’m sure there will be talks of marriage.]
A few days ago, she heard what Elle was vaguely saying. When she remembered her words, she couldn’t stand the thought of others eyeing Enoch.
Leticia looked at Enoch’s face, worried about how he’d taken what she’d said.
Soon, a pleasant laugh reached her ears.
“I was not thinking clearly.”
Enoch closed the ring box and gently moved a lock of Leticia’s hair behind her ear.
“Let’s show them tomorrow what kind of relationship we’re in.”
Leticia couldn’t stand the pleasant feeling as Enoch smiled down at her. In the moonlit garden, she wrapped her arms around his neck.
For some reason, she felt overwhelmed because he was allowing her to be greedy.
The next morning, on the day of the party, it was more hectic than expected.
However, the letter Mary brought yesterday was on her mind, and Leticia checked the letter on her desk.
“Sister, you need to change into your dress.”
“Okay, I’ll be right there.”
At Elle’s voice, Leticia quickly put down the letter and stepped away.
“It’s late, but I’m sorry I hurt you with my bad behaviour. Thank you for taking care of me and loving me.”